Lithuanian Filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas Shows Support for Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot - A Controversy in Russia and Around the Globe
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Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot wasn't well known around the world until a court sentenced three members to two years in prison for a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral last February that was planned in protest of the country's political strong man Vladimir Putin. A global uproar, including contributions from Madonna, protest marches and social media campaigns, followed. Late in the year, one of the three women, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed. While Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina continue to serve their jail sentences, an appeal to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg is pending.

He walked down the Moscow Film Festival’s red carpet wearing a t-shirt advocating freedom for the jailed punk rockers.

MOSCOW – A young Lithuanian filmmaker wore a t-shirt supporting jailed feminist punk rockers Pussy Riot as he walked down the Moscow International Film Festival’s red carpet on Thursday.

Romas Zabarauskas, who showed up in the Russian capital to present his debut feature We Will Riot in the Films Around the World section, seemed to be sporting formal attire as he walked down the red carpet towards the Rossiya theater on the festival’s opening night. But when he approached reporters, he unbuttoned his shirt, showing a blue T-shirt underneath with the slogan “Free Pussy Riot.”

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Earlier, Zabarauskas, who is openly gay, expressed concerns about the law against "propaganda of homosexuality," which was recently adopted in Russia. He told The Hollywood Reporter that although We Will Riot "is not a gay film, it does have a gay subplot and it will be interesting to see how it is accepted in Moscow.”

The film is scheduled to be screened on Monday.

Meanwhile, a similar manifestation of support for Pussy Riot at the opening ceremony of the Moscow International Film Festival occurred last year, when the punk rockers were still awaiting their trial. Back then, Russian film director Olga Darfi walked down the red carpet wearing a balaclava, a common sign of support for the feminist punk rockers.